Who Do We Think We Are

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Who Do We Think We Are
DeepPurple WhoDoWeThinkWeAre.jpg
Studio album by Deep Purple
Released 13 January 1973 (US)
February 1973 (UK)
Recorded July 1972 in Rome, Italy and October 1972 in Frankfurt, Germany, with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio
Genre Hard rock, blues rock[1]
Length 34:27
Label EMI/Purple (UK)
Warner Bros. (US)
Producer Deep Purple
Deep Purple chronology
Machine Head
Who Do We Think We Are
Ian Gillan chronology
Machine Head
Who Do We Think We Are
Child in Time
Roger Glover chronology
Machine Head
Who Do We Think We Are
The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast

Who Do We Think We Are is the seventh studio album by the British band Deep Purple, released in 1973. It was Deep Purple's last album with singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover until Perfect Strangers came out in 1984.

Musically, the record showed a move to a more blues based sound,[1] even featuring scat singing.[2] Although its production and the band's behavior after its release showed the group in turmoil, with frontman Gillan remarking that "we'd all had major illnesses" and felt considerable fatigue, the album was a commercial success. Deep Purple became the U.S.' top selling artist of the entire year.[1] The album also featured the energetic hard rock single "Woman from Tokyo", which has been performed on several tours by the band over the years.

Despite massive sales, the group disintegrated among much infighting between band members as well as conflicts with their managers. The album's line-up would come to an end after a final concert in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.[1]


Who Do We Think We Are was recorded in Rome in July 1972 and Walldorf near Frankfurt in October 1972, using the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.

"Woman from Tokyo", the first track recorded in July 1972, is about touring Japan for the first time (e.g. the lyric "Fly into the Rising Sun"). The only other track released from the Rome sessions is the outtake "Painted Horse". The rest of the album was recorded in Frankfurt after more touring (including in Japan).

Ian Gillan left the band following this album, citing internal tensions widely thought to include a feud with Blackmore. However, in an interview supporting the release of the 1984 Mark II Deep Purple comeback album Perfect Strangers, Gillan stated that fatigue and management conflicts also had a lot to do with it.

We had just come off 18 months of touring, and we'd all had major illnesses at one time or another. Looking back, if they'd have been decent managers, they would have said, 'All right, stop. I want you to all go on three months' holiday. I don't even want you to pick up an instrument.' But instead they pushed us to complete the album on time. We should have stopped. I think if we did, Deep Purple would have still been around to this day.[1][3]

The last Mark II concert in the 1970s before Ian Gillan and Roger Glover left was in Osaka, Japan on 29 June 1973.[1]

Album title and artwork[edit]

The original album artwork has many quoted articles from newspapers. One of them is from magazine Melody Maker of July 1972, where Ian Paice says:

Deep Purple get piles of passionate letters either violently against or pro the group. The angry ones generally start off "Who do Deep Purple think they are..."

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
Sputnik Music 2/5 stars[4]

Although "Woman from Tokyo" was a hit single and other songs picked up considerable airplay, the group—riven with internal strife—struggled to come up with tracks that everyone could agree upon. Members of the band were not speaking to each other and many songs were only finished after carefully arranged schedules could be worked out for the band of fighting musicians to record their parts separately. Despite the chaotic birth of the album, the fans bought it in record numbers. In the US, for example, it sold half a million copies in its first three months.[1]

It hit number 4 in the UK charts and number 15 in the US charts. It also achieved a gold record award faster than any Deep Purple album released up to that time. These numbers helped make Deep Purple the best selling artist in the U.S. in 1973 (with the prior acclaim for Machine Head and Made in Japan helping much as well).

Some retrospective critical reviews of the album have been mixed to negative. Reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic writes that apart from "Woman from Tokyo", the album's songs are "wildly inconsistent and find the band simply going through the motions," although he did praise "Rat Bat Blue".[2]

In 2000 Who Do We Think We Are was remastered and re-released with bonus tracks. The last bonus track is a lengthy instrumental jam called "First Day Jam", that features Ritchie Blackmore on bass. Roger Glover, the group's usual bassist, was absent, lost in traffic.

In 2005 Audio Fidelity released their own re-mastering of the album on 24 karat Gold CD.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ritchie Blackmore, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Woman from Tokyo" 5:48
2. "Mary Long" 4:23
3. "Super Trouper" 2:54
4. "Smooth Dancer" 4:08
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Rat Bat Blue" 5:23
6. "Place in Line" 6:29
7. "Our Lady" 5:12


Deep Purple
Additional personnel
  • Produced by Deep Purple
  • Engineer – Martin Birch
  • Rolling Stones Mobile Unit: Jeremy Gee & Nick Watterton
  • Equipment – Ian Hansford, Rob Cooksey, Colin Hart, Ron Quinton
  • Cover Design – Roger Glover & John Coletta
  • Original album mixed by Ian Paice and Roger Glover
  • Bonus tracks remixed by Peter Denenberg with Roger Glover
  • Remastered and mastered by Peter Mew



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[13] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Stan Cornyn. "Stay Tuned By Stan Cornyn: Loudest Purple". Rhino.com. Retrieved January 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Allmusic review
  3. ^ Deep Purple: The Interview. Interview picture disc, 1984, Mercury Records.
  4. ^ "Deep Purple - Who Do We Think We Are (album review ) - Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. 
  5. ^ a b c "Who Do We Think We Are on European Charts 1973|". Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  6. ^ http://danskehitlister.dk/?song_id=6214
  7. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 26 May 1973". poparchives.com.au. 
  8. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". officialcharts.de. 
  9. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Who Do We Think We Are". The Official Charts Company. 5 May 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Who Do We Think We Are on Billboard". Rovi Corporation / Billboard. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Woman from Tokyo on Dutch singles Chart in 1972
  12. ^ "Offizielle Deutsche Charts". officialcharts.de. 
  13. ^ "French album certifications – Deep Purple – Who Do We Think We Are" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select DEEP PURPLE and click OK
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Deep Purple – Who Do We Think We Are". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH